by Harvey Wrightman
In the 6 years and 6 Environmental Review Tribunal appeals we have been appellants to, there has been a bagful of issues connected with wind projects and how they are “imposed” upon ordinary working communities without the express consent of the communities – in newspeak, that would be “social license.” Yet the one issue that drew us to actively oppose wind projects (health effect), remains at the top of the list and all other issues really come as a result of the harm to health that occurs, picking its victims at random, that one cannot say, “It won’t affect me.”
So the recent study done by acoustician Steven Cooper for Pacific Hydro has set a bomb off amongst the….umm, the wind wankers – an all inclusive category for the acousticians, $800/hour lawyers, PR people, the smirking engineers and administrators of the MOECC and the ERT, the clueless politicians, the sleepy investment bankers.
But success leads to outrageous behaviour. Pac Hydro was assured by its “experts” that nothing would be found; so, acting the bit of the good, green corporate citizen it agreed to have Cooper do the study, and agreed to provide the operational co-operation that is essential to producing accurate data. Curiously they refused to have the study submitted to a professional journal for peer review – perhaps an afterthought – what if he does find something??? No matter, peer review can be done by, well, peers in the field. And so two of the most respected names in the American acoustical community, Paul Schomer and George Hessler, have published their review of Cooper’s study. Hessler has done numerous noise assessments for wind companies. Schomer is Standards Director Acoustical Society of America.
None of what is published will come as a surprise to the many individuals I encountered who experienced the same sensations resulting in the same symptomatic responses and the entirely rational response of fleeing the scene. Now your observations have been validated by two of the most prominent acousticians in the US. With an ethical obligation to protect the public, one awaits the stampede of engineers to the exits. Some have already done so.
The Results of an Acoustic Testing Program, Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm
Prepared for Energy Pacific by Steve Cooper, The Acoustic Group
A Review of this Study and Where It Is Leading
Paul D. Schomer, Ph.D., P.E.; Schomer and Associates, Inc.; Standards Director, Acoustical Society of America
George Hessler, Hessler Associates, Inc.
10 February 2015
Recently Cooper has completed a first of its kind test regarding the acoustical emissions of wind turbines. His is the first study of effects on people that includes a cooperating windfarm operator in conjunction with a researcher that does not work exclusively for windfarms. This study makes three very simple points:
- There is at least one non-visual, non-audible pathway for wind turbine emissions to reach, enter, and affect some people
- This is a longitudinal study wherein the subjects record in a diary regularly as a function of time the level of the effects they are experiencing at that time
- This periodic recording allows for responses as the wind-turbine power changes up and down, changes not known by the subject